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What Is Type 2c Hair and How Should You Care For It?

BY Jana Russick

Type 2c hair is the apex of waviness. Its ultra-defined natural waves are not easily ignored or erased. Through wind, rain, or shine, it’s wavy texture will not lose its shape— though it may experience a little frizz or excess volume. 

Even when your 2c hair is being unruly, don’t take this hair type for granted. After all, many of those with straight hair have to scrunch their locks with mousse and stiffening hair products just to get the hairstyle that you naturally have. Instead, use this guide to create a hair routine that complements your beautiful 2c wave pattern and makes the most of your fabulous mane.

What Is Type 2 Hair?

Type 2c hair is just one of the classifications within the hair typing system. Hair typing is a system that separates hair textures into four categories:

Within each of these hair types are subcategories. For type 2 hair, those include type 2a, 2b, and 2c. Let’s take a closer look so you can identify where your locks fit in.

Type 2a Hair

Type 2a wavy hair looks the most like straight hair. It’s flatter at the roots and starts to form waves a few inches down the hair shaft. It’s defined by loosely shaped waves and thin hair density. Of all three wave types, 2a is the least likely to experience a frizzy hair day. 

Type 2b Hair

Type 2b hair has a well-defined S-shape that starts to form at the midpoints of the hair. Its medium level of thickness lands right in the middle of type 2a and 2c as does its level of waviness. Its voluminous texture allows it to easily retain its shape even when it’s wet but also makes it more prone to frizziness. 

Type 2c Hair

Now that we have insight into the other types of wavy hair, let’s explore the ins and outs of type 2c hair. By now you’ve probably figured out that the 2c hair type is the waviest of all type 2’s. Each wavy lock has an almost ringlet-like shape to it, which is why it’s often miscategorized as a curl type. But when you compare it to naturally curly hair types, you’ll notice that type 2c strands have a definite S-shape. 

The dense natural hair texture makes type 2c hair very thick and voluminous. Its shape can be tugged, dampened, or blow-dried without losing form. But just because its texture is not easily changed doesn’t mean it always behaves the way you want it to. Here are some common concerns types 2c’s have about their hair. 

The Downsides of 2c Hair

Having 2c hair comes with plenty of upsides. But with these come some styling complications that can take over your entire head of hair if they aren’t kept under control. 

Abundant Frizz

For those with 2c hair, fighting frizz is a constant battle. Why is 2c hair so prone to frizz? Because sideways hair growth and tight coiling is one of the defining characteristics of frizziness. In essence, the more curly, kinky, or dense your hair texture is, the more vulnerable it is to frizz. Type 2c’s likeness to curly hair is what causes it to get frizzy. Letting frizz get out of hand can cause other hair issues to pop up, like tangles and breakage.

Pro Tip: Use our hair scientist’s tips on how to combat frizz

Wild Volume

Type 2c hair is bursting with volume. This is partially because unlike other wavy hair types, 2c waves begin forming at the roots, providing extra lift at the crown of the head. Most people would see this abundance of volume as a huge benefit, but too much of it can make the hair look too puffy. What doesn’t help is when 2c hair gets frizzy and you’re tempted to brush the frizz out. Doing this can be disastrous to ultra wavy locks as it can make the volume expand into a lion’s mane that’s impossible to tame. Your only hope is to hop in the shower and start your hair care routine all over again. And who wants to do that?

Pro Tip: Learn how to care for voluminous, high-density hair

Damage and Dryness

Even color enthusiasts and blow-dry devotees are aware that any type of chemical or heat processing can damage your hair. Hair textures with varying degrees of curl patterns tend to experience even more color and heat damage from these processes. 

For someone with dense, well-defined 2c waves, the non-straight texture of your hair makes it harder for color to seep in. And your abundance of volume and body makes it harder to straighten or blow-dry. As such, it requires much more time, heat, and chemicals for the hair to take to these treatments. The longer your hair stylist has to leave in your color and the longer and hotter you set your hair dryer, the more damage you inflict onto your 2c hair.

Pro Tip: Check out this genius heat-free hair drying technique

Maximizing Your 2c Hair Texture

You know the lows of having 2c hair, but now it’s time to focus on the highs. Here are some tips that’ll help you combat frizz, control volume, and minimize damage. 

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture!

It can be difficult to detangle your hair when frizz gets out of hand. Put the frizz to bed and get soft, luscious waves by moisturizing your locks with a leave-in conditioner. This lightweight styling cream helps hydrate and detangle hair. Use it on post-shower hair before heat styling or apply it to dry hair to smooth frizz and flyaways. 

Another easy and effective way to smooth away frizz while enhancing shine is Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum. This styling product is made with naturally-derived and synthetic ingredients like argan, jojoba, and sunflower oils to give your hair a shiny, hydrated look.

No to Rubbing, Yes to Scrunching

When you get out of the shower, what’s the first thing you do with your wet wavy locks? Probably rub it dry with a rough terry cloth towel. Well, wave goodbye to this bad hair habit. All rubbing does is create friction that can lead to unwanted frizz and breakage

Instead, your hair needs a delicate pat and scrunch with a soft microfiber towel. This material is much kinder to hair and absorbs water way faster — an added plus that’ll cut down on your hair styling time. If you’re short on microfiber, drying with a soft cotton T-shirt and combing with a wide-tooth comb can also help reduce frizz.

Wash With the Right Stuff

Perhaps the root of all hair problems comes down to how you wash your hair. This isn’t just about how frequently you wash your hair, but which products you use in the shower. Do you use just any old shampoo and conditioner? Or do you employ a hair washing combo formulated specifically for your 2c hair

We hope your answer is the latter but if it isn’t, that’s where Function of Beauty’s sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner comes in. This fully customizable set is designed around your natural hair type, structure, and moisture level so you can provide your locks with everything they need to look and feel their best.

Love Your 2c Hair Even More

We want you “2c” your hair in a new light and not let annoying frizz, puffiness, or damage distract from the abundant wave definition, volume, and body your beautiful 2c hair has. To help maximize all the positive attributes of your ultra-wavy hair, take our hair quiz. Here, you can create a custom hair formula designed to fit your 2c hair needs and help you achieve your unique hair goals.